217. Editorial Note

At 4:30 a.m. on June 5, 1967, Walt Rostow telephoned President Johnson to inform him that war had erupted in the Middle East. At 5:25 a.m. on June 5, Secretary of State Rusk sent a message to Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko informing him that the United States was “astonished and dismayed” by the reports of heavy fighting. Rusk stressed that it was “very important that the United Nations Security Council succeed in bringing this fighting to an end as quickly as possible.” The memorandum of this telephone conversation is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XIX. At 7:59 a.m. a message from Chairman Kosygin to President Johnson was received in Washington over the “hot line,” the first substantive message sent on the “hot line” since its establishment on August 30, 1963. Kosygin concurred in the importance of securing an immediate cessation of hostilities and urged the United States to “exert appropriate influence on the Government of Israel.” Between June 5 and the end of the Six Day War on June 10, a total of 20 “hot line” messages were exchanged between Johnson and Kosygin. For text of the messages, see ibid.

In addition to documentation on U.S.-Soviet communications during the Six Day War, Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XIX, includes extensive documentation on U.S.-Soviet discussions concerning the situation in the Middle East from the end of the Six Day war to the adoption of United Nations Resolution 242 on November 22, 1967. For documentation on U.S.-Soviet communications concerning the Middle East from the adoption of Resolution 242 to the end of 1968, see ibid., volume XX.